As a newcomer to Adelaide, Mekong Thai was the first place I had dinner at, simply because it was the nearest Halal restaurant to where I was staying. More than a year down the road, this restaurant has become a bit of a go-to place for me when I'm feeling like having some Thai or Malay cuisine. Located on Hindley Street, it constantly gives out an aroma of warm food, that tangy scent familiar with Thai dining. I admit that it's not the best in its category, but the location is convenient, and the food is reasonably good.
There is seating available inside the restaurant, on a sort of front porch and on the pavement itself. During the winter months, there's a heater on in the front porch, so it keeps everything suitably toasty. The menu can be found right on the grille at the restaurant's front, making it easy to decide on what to eat. They have vegetarian options available for some dishes.
I've had the shrimp fried rice quite a number of times, though the picture above is one of their more disappointing servings. It was not as tasty as the previous times I've tried it, which is a shame. My partner pointed this out, saying that he felt the quality of some of their dishes, particularly the single dish meals like fried rice and pad thai are not as good as they used to be. However, one thing about Mekong Thai: When you order your food hot, they really do make it spicy.
Telur gulung - an omelette filled with chicken curry.
My group ordered some telur gulung to go with our fried rice. The telur gulung here is one of my favourite dishes; spicy chicken curry and noodles wrapped in a large egg omelette and garnished with coriander. It's a good combination, and the chicken is suitably spicy, and went well with the fried rice. The picture above is of the omelette after I sliced it open, to give a glimpse of the goodness hidden inside. If you're looking forward to trying this dish, you'll have to ask first, as it's not available all the time.
The chilli padi chicken curry dish was ordered by my friend, who had it with steamed rice. Surprisingly, it wasn't that spicy even though it is called 'chilli padi'. Despite that, I thought it was a tasty dish, creamy with a tangy edge. The dish servings here are quite generous; the omelette was shared between four people while my partner and I also shared a plate of fried rice. My friend who ordered the chilli padi curry couldn't finish it all and ended up packing the remainder to have as leftovers.
Though we've eaten here countless times, this was the first time that any of us tried the desserts. These sweet treats aren't listed on the menu, but scrawled onto a board within the restaurant itself. My friend decided to try the lychees with ice cream. There's an option to have it with a dash of brandy, but she went without. While I didn't get to taste it, she said that it was delicious. The serving was larger than expected, and the syrup from the lychees had seeped into the vanilla ice cream, giving it a sweeter taste.
As for me, I chose the black sticky rice, or bubur pulut hitam as we call it in Malay. This dessert is served warm, with a large amount of black glutinous rice drowned in a pool of coconut cream. I've never eaten this dish with the two main ingredients separated before, and I really enjoyed it. The texture was good, and it made for a delicious savoury dessert. Unfortunately, there was way too much for me to finish it all.
Mekong Thai isn't lavishly decorated, but a bit more simple, with heavy wooden furniture and a dining area that has a view of the busy kitchen. The service is good too, with friendly waitresses.
Lunch hours are especially busy, particularly on weekdays when office workers come out for break. It also helps that they offer a lunch special, with dishes such as pad thai, mee goreng (fried noodles), fried rice and other choices going for less than $10. Students should note that you can get a 10% discount by flashing your student card.
Having tried quite a lot of their menu, I can safely say that most of it is good, though the meals under their wok section have gotten disappointing over time. A note about the entrées - my friends and I ordered a plate of spring rolls a couple of months ago, and they were a really small and disappointing serving. However, when I dined here recently, I saw a neighbouring table order the same thing, only the rolls were much fatter. I guess it's either hit or miss in this situation.
Sara this place must have been on Hindley for as long as I remember. Funnily enough, it was one of the first Asian restaurants I went to as well when I came to Australia. But that was awhile ago and business probably has changed hands since